Frames and Stories
Wednesday, May 7, 2014
Values represent our guiding principles; our broadest motivations, influencing the attitudes we hold and how we act (Holmes et al 2011). It is therefore essential that we recognise the importance of values in our work as educators; and that we are very mindful about which values we wish to support and develop through our work.
Values as a social science concept are central in explaining social and personal organisation and change, and in explaining the motivational basis for attitudes and behaviours (Schwartz 2012). As such, the understanding of values and how values for sustainability can be supported through outdoor learning are key to supporting a positive shift toward attitudes and behaviours that are in-line with sustainable thinking and action.
To help define and understand values further Schwartz (1999), a leading researcher in the field of universal values, offers six clear insights into the nature of values:
1) Values are beliefs linked inextricably to effect.
2) Values refer to desirable goals that motivate action.
3) Values transcend specific actions and situations.
4) Values serve as standards or criteria, but are rarely deployed as such consciously in our everyday decision making.
5) Values are ordered by importance relative to one another.
6) The relative importance of multiple values guides action.
These insights should help clarify further discussion of values and their importance in outdoor learning for sustainability.
Go deeper into the thinking behind the inclusion of values in the RWL model.
Download the Common Cause Handbook, the source of much inspiration for this thinking.
Read ‘An overview of the Schwartz theory of basic values’, a teacher summary of some of the original values research.
Learn more about values workshops run by the Real World Learning Network.